The turkey is all gone. The other left-overs have all been eaten or are growing fuzz in their containers in the refrigerator. The blow-up mattresses have all been deflated and put back in their containers. The blankets and extra pillows are back on the closet shelf. The sheets, towels, and tablecloths are all washed and back in the linen closets. Games and songbooks are neatly stored in the cabinet and basket in which they live.
The noise and laughter of eleven people being under one roof is gone and the house is very quiet again. The memories of funny stories and actions live on in our minds, but Thanksgiving 2017 is over.
Those of you posting on Facebook something for which you are thankful are finally finished since today is the last day of November. When you wake up tomorrow you won’t have to come up with something to post. Yay!
But, for the Christian, should thanksgiving ever be over? Consider, if you will, the following verses from God’s word:
- David, after being delivered from his enemies, said: “Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles, and sing praises to Your name” (Psalm 18:49).
- “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High” (Psalm 92:1).
- “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” And again, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalm 107:1,8).
- The apostle Paul was a firm believer in giving thanks to God. In both of his letters to the Corinthians, he referenced thankfulness. “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57), and, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15)
- He was also thankful for those who were close to him in heart: “Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you in my prayers” (Eph. 1:15,16), and “…giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:20).
- And then his all-encompassing statement concerning thankfulness: “…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:18).
This list could go on and on, but you surely get my point. Every day we live should be full of thanksgiving to the One who created us and continues to bless us. Even in those tough times we all face, God should be thanked. Did you miss that last reference I included in my list? “…In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (emphasis added).
Let’s work together to change how we view thanksgiving. Let’s change our everyday focus from looking for the bad things that are going on in our lives, to seeing the good all around us. When something negative comes your way, search for that glimmer of good that is somewhere in it. I promise, it’s there!
How different our lives would be if we would just focus on that with which God has blessed us and convey our gratitude to Him. Those around us will notice – at home, in your congregation, in your neighborhood, at Wal Mart, or wherever you happen to be.
“Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into His presence with singing! Know that the Lord, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name! For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 100)
AUTHOR: Donna Faughn